Sex Industry Child Trafficking, Madonna: I Was Raped at Knifepoint, Child Abuse Effects, Children Who Report Abuse Often Ignored

October 8, 2013 Comments Off on Sex Industry Child Trafficking, Madonna: I Was Raped at Knifepoint, Child Abuse Effects, Children Who Report Abuse Often Ignored

– I was sold by Mum and Dad to make images of child abuse
– Madonna: I was raped at knifepoint
– Children who report abuse are often ignored, says NSPCC
– The truth is that the effects of child abuse are long-lasting, not just on its victims but on the health system’s bottom line

I was sold by Mum and Dad to make images of child abuse

Aged four, Raven Kaliana’s parents took her to a film studio where she was sexually abused in front of cameras. For most of her childhood they regularly trafficked her to the sex industry. Now she campaigns against child abuse
Nuala Calvi  The Guardian, Friday 4 October 2013

One of Raven Kaliana’s earliest memories is being taken to a family portrait studio by her parents, at around the age of four. The studio was in the basement of a department store in a town 50 miles from their home. Once they had arrived, they waited for another couple to arrive with their own child.

“Would you like to have your picture taken with this cute little boy?” her mother asked, before the parents left the kids with the photographer and retired to the cafe upstairs. But while they sat eating ice cream, the images being made in the studio down below were far from happy family portraits. Raven and her companion had just been sold into the child abuse industry.

It was to be the beginning of a 15-year ordeal, which saw Raven regularly trafficked by her parents and other members of an organised crime ring from her home in a middle-class suburb in the American north-west to locations all over the US and abroad. In her teens, the crimes were often perpetrated in Los Angeles, where many film studios provided ample opportunity for the underground child abuse industry in the 70s and 80s….

Inevitably, as she grew older, Raven’s value to her abusers decreased and subsequently the kinds of films she was required to take part in became more extreme and violent.

Yet from a young age, she had learned from her parents to rationalise and deny what was going on within the family. “It’s the same way that someone who has a problem with alcohol will rationalise their behaviour – ‘It’s only this many drinks. It’s before noon but, oh well, just today’.

“I remember my mother saying things like, ‘Oh, they’ll never remember it,’ like people do when they get their babies’ ears pierced. I told myself that my parents meant well, that what I was going through was what was necessary to help my family. It was paying our mortgage.”….

Her adult life has been driven by the belief that it is important for survivors of child sexual exploitation and trafficking to tell their stories, in order to make people realise that these aren’t crimes that happen “somewhere else, to someone else”. She moved to the UK to create Hooray for Hollywood, an autobiographical play in which the children are represented by puppets, while the adults – their parents – are only shown up to waist height, from a child’s eye view. This critically acclaimed drama has toured the UK, Poland and France, and has been made into a film….

Britain’s Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre, a division of the police, says the number of indecent images of children in circulation on the internet runs into millions, with police forces reporting seizures of up to 2.5m images in single collections alone, while the number of individual children depicted in these images is likely to be in the tens of thousands. The commonest way that offenders found their victims was through family and personal relationships….

For Raven, the psychological effects of her abuse have been extreme. From an early age she began to experience dissociative amnesia – a psychological phenomenon common in victims of inescapable trauma, in which painful experiences are blocked out, leading to gaps in memory. “I started putting things into little rooms in my mind, and it was like: OK, we don’t look in that room,” she says. “When there’s no relief, there’s no one stepping in to save you, and it’s clear you’re just going to have to endure something, then your mind just does that. As a child, dissociation is a serious survival advantage, but in adulthood it can become a disability.”

It was at the age of 15 that the coping mechanisms of denial and dissociation began to break down. “At school, I started getting flashbacks – like remembering being in a warehouse the night before – and I could feel in my body it was true, but it was terrifying because I didn’t want those things to be true.”….

The therapy made it possible for her to move on and start to enjoy life. “I realised that it is possible to get your life back. I started to gain an appreciation for life and a recognition that I only have so many breaths, so I’ve got to use them well.”….
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/oct/05/sold-mum-dad-images-child-abuse

Hooray for Hollywood, began as a play and is also available as a short film. Both puppets and performers communicate a fractured tale for adult audiences, set within the child pornography industry. This criminal underworld is revealed in flashes and glimpses from a child’s vantage point. Laced with black humour and a haunting live violin score by Susanna Ferrar, it presents a window on both human frailty and resilience. It is based on a true story. http://www.hoorayforhollywood.co.uk/

Madonna: I was raped at knifepoint
Singer writes of how she was held up at gunpoint, raped on a rooftop and burgled three times in first year in New York
Shane Hickey
theguardian.com, Saturday 5 October 2013

Madonna has detailed how she was raped not long after she moved to New York City at the age of 19, in a revealing account of her life to date.

In an article for Harper’s Bazaar magazine, the singer said she was forced on to the roof of a building at knifepoint and attacked. The first-person account, which accompanied a fashion shoot, spans Madonna’s life from growing up in the US midwest and moving away from home, to her marriages and children.

“New York wasn’t everything I thought it would be. It did not welcome me with open arms. The first year, I was held up at gunpoint. Raped on the roof of a building I was dragged up to with a knife in my back, and had my apartment broken into three times. I don’t know why; I had nothing of value after they took my radio the first time,” she wrote….http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/oct/05/madonna-raped-knifepoint-new-york-20s

Children who report abuse are often ignored, says NSPCC   
Emily Dugan
Sunday 06 October 2013

When children tell adults they are being abused, their confidants only take action in just over half of cases, according to a study by the NSPCC. Eight out of 10 abused under-18s tried to tell an adult, according to research based on interviews with 60 young adults. But adults acted in only 58 per cent of cases.

The insight comes as several high-profile cases reveal the failure of social services and other agencies to react to signs of children being ill-treated.

Previous research concluded that abuse is under-reported and that most children don’t speak out, often carrying their secret for years. This has led some to dismiss the idea of asking children themselves what is going on….

It took an average of seven years for those children who had been sexually abused to successfully tell someone about what was happening and to get help.

Pam Miller, co-author of the report called No One Noticed, No One Heard, which is published tomorrow, said: “We were surprised at the number of people who had told someone about their abuse as a child, particularly given the extreme amount of abuse they suffered.

“We keep hearing in these serious case reviews of all these missed opportunities …. We, as professionals, don’t pay attention often to what the child might say, because our minds are already closed to the idea that they might tell us stuff….
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/children-who-report-abuse-are-often-ignored-says-nspcc-8861356.html

The truth is that the effects of child abuse are long-lasting, not just on its victims but on the health system’s bottom line
October 7, 2013 Rebecca Reeve

Churches have begun to acknowledge how they ”failed” abused children. Scouts NSW recently told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse it, too, had ”failed” young boys. But such admissions are insufficient if society’s largest institution, government, fails to invest fully in child protection….

Research published in the journal Economic Record and conducted by Dr Kees van Gool and myself at the Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation shows that in addition to the human cost of child abuse there are lasting health effects for victims and therefore substantial and very long-term costs for the health system…..

In all cases the outcomes are worst for victims of combined physical and sexual abuse.

We found that the average annual healthcare costs of people who had been sexually abused as children were more than double those of the people who had not been abused. For those who had been both sexually and physically abused, annual healthcare costs as adults were six times higher.

The study also found the probability that a woman would attempt suicide rose from 1.2 per cent within the general community to 17.5 per cent among women who had suffered combined physical and sexual child abuse.

Among men, the probability of drug abuse rose from 7.5 per cent generally to 25.8 per cent for those who had suffered combined abuse.

The probability of alcohol abuse increased from 6.6 per cent for women who had not been abused to 17.9 per cent for women who had suffered combined abuse. For men, the probability rose from 32.1 per cent to 49.8 per cent….
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-truth-is-that-the-effects-of-child-abuse-are-longlasting-not-just-on-its-victims-but-on-the-health-systems-bottom-line-20131006-2v282.html

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